The finest ski lines in Espace Killy, one of France's most celebrated ski resorts.
The Espace Killy, as Tignes and Vald’Isère’s combined ski areas are known, is a mecca for expert level freeriders. There is a huge wealth of interesting terrain accessed directly from lifts or within a relatively short skin or hike. From steep couloirs to open faces littered natural drops and terrain features, it’s difficult to get bored skiing here.
These lines will give experienced freeriders a great sample of some of the best quality classic descents on offer. While these lines do not require any real mountaineering know-how, they are all relatively steep and can be very serious. The Promecou and Grande Balme north faces are in particular quite impressive and have been the venues for several professional freeride competitions over the years including the Freeride World Tour up until 2009. None of these lines require skinning, however some require a bootpack of between around 10-45 minutes.
All of these lines are also predominantly north facing, giving them a good chance of holding cold powder. The Antenna Couloir and the Couloir des Pisteurs are two of the most spectacular couloirs above Val d’ Isère while the other lines are on the Tignes side. What all of these descents have in common are steep and committing entrances which give access to more open and ‘shreddable’ slopes lower down, often holding good snow.
All of these lines can present a serious avalanche hazard and several of these lines have major terrain trap risks implied. They should therefore only be undertaken with the correct equipment and a solid understanding of the current conditions and the risks involved.